Arizona wipes away Wright St.
Simon throws first career CG shutout, issues no walks
COLLEGE STATION, Texas --- Arizona exploded for 13 runs on 15 hits and Kyle Simon pitched a complete-game, four-hit shutout as the Wildcats eliminated Wright State in a 13-0 decision on Saturday afternoon at the College Station Regional.
Arizona (37-20) will now await the loser of tonight's game between Seton Hall and host Texas A&M.
Simon improved to 11-3 on the season as he pitched his fifth complete game of the season, which marked his first career complete-game shutout. The junior right-hander, issued zero walks and struck out five.
Staked to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Simon kept the Raiders off the board despite giving up three hits over the first two innings. However, coupled with an offensive explosion, Simon was nearly unhittable the rest of the way. He allowed just one hit over the final seven frames, retiring the side in order in six of the seven innings. The Raiders did not put a runner past first base after the second inning, and Simon retired 22 of the final 23 batters he faced.
Arizona, the designated visiting team, scored the single run in the top of the first and exploded for six in the fourth. For good measure, the Wildcats pushed across three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to set the final score score.
The Wildcats, who were 8-for-22 with runners in scoring position, scored their most runs in a postseason game since plating 13 on May 30, 2008, against Eastern Michigan in the first game of the Ann Arbor Regional. The 15 base hits were the most for the school since pounding out 16 against New Orleans on June 2, 2007, at the Wichita Regional.
The scoring started in the opening frame thanks to a defensive error - one of six on the day - by the Raiders. With the bases loaded and one out, Johnny Field lifted a fly ball to right field that was dropped by Tristan Moore. Bryce Ortega scored from third, but the other two runners could only advance on base after initially holding on the fly ball. A pop out and a fly out ended the threat as the Wildcats left three runners on base.
The Wildcats stranded five runners over the first three innings and stranded two in the fourth frame, but not before six runs were scratched across to take a commanding 7-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Arizona strung together five consecutive one-out hits. Alex Mejia drove a double to right center field. Seth Mejias-Brean followed with a single up the middle to score Mejia. Mejias-Brean then stole second base, before Joey Rickard singled up the middle to drive in another run. Next, Ortega singled to right field, which advanced Rickard to third base. Cole Frenzel followed with an RBI single to right field to score Rickard.
Later, with two outs and the bases loaded, Jett Bandy was hit by a pitch to drive in another run. After a pitching change, left-hander Jordan Marker tried to pick off Robert Refsnyder at third base, but the throw skipped away and allowed Refsnyder to score. A sixth run in the inning scored when Bobby Rinard reached on an error.
Three more runs were tacked on in the top of the sixth. Frenzel doubled and Refsnyder singled to lead off the inning, putting runners at first and third. Refsnyder then stole home on a double steal when the throw to second was late. Bandy collected his second RBI of the game with a one-out double to plate Refsnyder, and Mejia drove in Bandy with a two-out single to push the lead to 10-0.
In the seventh inning, Refsnyder picked up an RBI single and Bandy was again by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in a run. Bobby Rinard capped the scoring with a two-out RBI single.
Wright State (36-19) used five pitchers in the game, who despite giving up 13 runs, were charged for just seven earned runs. Starter Casey Henn pitched 3.2 innings and gave up seven runs - four earned - with two walks and a strikeout. He dropped to 7-4 on the year with the loss.
Should Arizona win its game on Sunday afternoon against the Seton Hall-Texas A&M loser, it would advance to play in a second game on Sunday night against the Seton Hall-Texas A&M winner. A Wildcat victory in Sunday night's game would force a second championship game to be played Monday night. A loss in any of the potential upcoming games would eliminate Arizona from the tournament.